Catholic World News

Singapore’s president meets with Pope

May 30, 2016

Pope Francis received President Tony Tan of Singapore at the Vatican on May 28.

Following their meeting, President Tan met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States.

The discussions, according to the Holy See Press Office, touched upon collaboration in the educational and social arenas and upon the political situation in Southeast Asia, “with particular reference to the importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogue for the promotion of human rights, stability, justice and peace.”

After the discussions, President Tan said that the Pope was interested in Singapore’s experience of combating terrorism by promoting interfaith harmony, the Singapore Straits-Times reported.

“I was able to share with the Pope our experiences in this area, to explain that, for Singapore, racial and religious harmony is fundamental not only to our progress but to our very existence and, from the start, we have placed a great deal of emphasis on building bridges across communities,” Tan said.

Singapore, a nation of 5.5 million, is 34% Buddhist, 14% Muslim, 11% Taoist, 5% Hindu, and 4% Catholic.

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